This week’s interview is with Tariq Ahmad, a Legal Analyst in the Global Legal Research Center of the Law Library of Congress.
Describe your background
My family is originally from Pakistan. My father and mother moved to the U.S. before I was born so my father could complete his Ph.D. Soon after I was born, my family moved from New Jersey to the Middle East after my father accepted a post at the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). I lived in Iraq for nine years and then in Egypt for four years. Given the fact that I have lived in so many different places, I do not really consider myself as having a “home” country. Egypt would probably come closest.
What is your academic/professional history?
I completed my BA in political science at Ohio State University. Subsequently I went abroad to London to complete my law degree at University College London (UCL). During my studies I pursued a few internships in Dubai. I returned to the U.S. after the completion of my LLB at UCL, and subsequently started working on an LLM at the Washington College of Law (WCL) at American University. During my studies I had the opportunity to intern at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and as a foreign legal specialist at the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG). I also had the opportunity to intern at the Law Library of Congress in the Global Legal Research Center, working primarily on requests relating to UK law.
How would you describe your job to other people?
I provide legal information and research on a diverse range of subjects and jurisdictions. My focus is generally on legal jurisdictions in South Asia and I have been able to work on legal issues as varied as family law, constitutional law, and tax law.
Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?
I love the diversity of the work I can do here. As I mentioned above, I could be working on a family law issue one week and then on a tax law request another week. Therefore, there is never a dull moment! I also like the fact that publications like the Global Legal Monitor (GLM) and Current Legal Topics allows the staff to explore personal research interests as well.
What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library and/or the Library of Congress?
That the Library employs foreign law specialists and analysts with such diverse backgrounds. I was very surprised that the Law Library employed a team of foreign trained lawyers. Moreover, I am also overwhelmed and in awe of the sheer volume of legal materials that are found in the Library’s collection.
What is something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
I am an avid comic book reader and passionate about food! If I were to rank my favorite cuisines, it would be Pakistani food as No. 1 (an obvious bias) and Thai food a close second.